NetBeans Considering GPLv2 (Multilicensed Together With CDDL)

Letter from Bruno Souza, NetBeans community manager. Feel free to add your comments (both positive and negative feedback is welcome).

Dear NetBeans Community,

As you all know, we are working hard for the release of NetBeans 6.0.
The new release will bring exciting technical features and this is a great
time to consider what else can we do to empower the NetBeans Community.

As a result of requests from the comunity, we are considering the potential
adoption of a new license model. We are considering releasing a future early
access version of NetBeans 6.0 under a dual licensing scheme of CDDL and
GPL v2 with Classpath exception. A move like this would be well received by
many of the NetBeans contributors, and will benefit the community at large.

Releasing NetBeans under the GPL license will also help align NetBeans with
the Linux community and major open source projects. By making it easier
to share NetBeans code and innovations with other projects, it will promote
a stronger open source Java ecosystem.

It is important to note that GPL v2 with Classpath exception is not intended
to replace the current CDDL license. NetBeans source code will be dual licensed
and developers will be able to choose the licensing terms that better suit
their needs.

More detailed information about the GPL v2 with Classpath exception can be
found in the faq at: http://www.netbeans.org/gplv2-faqs.html

The license text may be found at: http://www.netbeans.org/cddl-gplv2.html

This would be an important move for NetBeans, and we welcome your opinion and
feedback. If you have any questions or would like further information, please
contact me at bruno.souza at sun.com.

Thank you,
Bruno Souza
NetBeans Community Manager 

Comments:

Nice!

Posted by Dalibor Topic on srpen 17, 2007 at 07:22 dop. CEST #

This is long overdue. A lot of people don't consider a project really open source unless it is licensed under one of the standard licenses (GPL, BSD, etc). The CDDL has always been considered "Sun's Open Source License" and not a "real" one (regardless of the facts). NetBeans needs to move away from being thought of as owned by Sun if it ever wants to be a true community supported project.

Posted by Jeff on srpen 17, 2007 at 08:27 dop. CEST #

So don't see what use this is - I don't think a simple license change will suddenly get an army of developers using Netbeans or a flood of applications using the Platform - It's just sounds good...

Posted by Laxman B on srpen 19, 2007 at 02:35 dop. CEST #

@Laxman

You never know!

Posted by Robert Hicks on srpen 19, 2007 at 08:37 odp. CEST #

So then go with the BSD license. Why exclude people from building a commercial product on top of the platform, just as it's starting to become viable?

Posted by Andy R on srpen 20, 2007 at 06:13 dop. CEST #

@Laxman - this will let Netbeans into the Debian, Ubuntu, Gentoo, Fedora, etc. repositories in a big way. In fact, it will have a "more preferred" license than eclipse (for those who care.)

@Andy R - Not only is the CDDL remaining in effect for Netbeans, but the GPL + linking exception does encourage commercial products. (it takes the "sting" out of the GPL for companies that want to build and ship a proprietary product based on the GPL-licensed code)

Posted by James Stansell on srpen 21, 2007 at 06:40 odp. CEST #

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